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What is your authentic body?

Updated: Mar 22

There is nothing more intimate to us than our own bodies. But many of us are living in conflict with - or outright dislike and distrust of - this deeply personal part of ourselves.


This is conditioned. We are born adoring our bodies; it’s socialization, trauma and shame that make it otherwise.


Still, this easy, natural body state remains within us. I call it our authentic body.


My definition of authentic body:

Our body’s natural shape and size when we are not overeating, undereating, dieting or controlling ourselves with exercise or restriction. This is our bodies when we’re moving in fun and inspired ways, honoring our body’s signals and eating food we love. This is our “true” body which is largely determined by genetics. It's the body we have when we treat ourselves like something we treasure. It’s a body we naturally love simply because it's ours.


Living in our authentic body is a dynamic process. It’s the relationship we have with our bodies - how we think about them and treat them. It’s shifting away from objectifying our bodies from the outside to experiencing our bodies on the inside. This is how we foster trust and kindness for our physical selves and tap into the vast wisdom our bodies offer us, actual guidance for what it needs. It’s being on the same team as our bodies.


Living authentically in our bodies means knowing that our bodies are what give us life. They are the singular way our souls live a human experience.


Living authentically in my body means:


-       My body is allowed to be fed, loved and safe. Always, not matter my size.

-       Putting my physical comfort and safety before other people’s wishes or expectations.

-       Wearing clothes I love and that feel good on me.

-       Knowing it is my birthright to enjoy my body.

-       Allowing myself presence and pleasure while eating.

-       Eating foods I love and letting myself enjoy them.

-       Thinking kind, supportive, loving thoughts about my body.

-       Observing, rather than identifying with, shameful thoughts when they surface.

-       Listening to what my body is saying rather than the “experts.”

-       Exercising in ways that feel inspired, fun and good to me.


If this seems impossible, it’s only because we’ve been indoctrinated so effectively into the body hierarchy mindset.


The idea of a body hierarchy - where bodies are more or less valuable depending on size (or age) - is an entrenched falsehood. It’s an outright lie. 


If you like the idea of living authentically in your body but have no idea how to do it, you’ve already begun.

quote: our authentic body is the body we have when we treat ourselves like something we treasure.

We cannot change something until we can see it. Awareness is always the first step. It provides us with the smallest of openings, a puncture hole in our body conditioning.


Our goal is just to keep making that hole bigger. From there, possibility can’t help but come in.

The possibility that what we have been taught is incorrect and we not only have the power, but the RIGHT, to choose something different for ourselves.


You may feel some resistance to this idea. I did.


Here’s the thing: the body standard is just an idea that people have agreed upon. It is a mind construct with no objective truth or value.


But your body - your unique physical conglomeration of cells, tissues and organs - IS true and real. And it’s yours, as it was meant to be, determined by your genetic blueprint. How could it possibly be wrong?


Would we ever call a tomato plant that grew from a tomato seed wrong?


It is my belief that as we dare to create an authentic experience in our bodies and are led by internal cues rather than external mandates, we will easily settle into our natural shape and size. Our work is to let that be enough.


Not enough. But perfect. Amazing. Beautiful.


I still have days when I believe the programming, when I wake up saddled with that dark, sticky shame and am convinced I need to do more. Try harder. Wrestle my body into a smaller pair of jeans. Melt the cellulite.


Years into this journey, I still sometimes wake up certain that the size/shape of my body or how I look is all that matters about me. Body shame runs deep.


Living authentically in our bodies is a process. And like all liberation, every single micro step counts. Compassion is key. We are not demanding this change in ourselves; we are shedding the conditioning and allowing our true selves to emerge.


The ideal body is pretend. It’s subjective and changeable. It’s created to profit from, and gain control over, women.


Who are we giving the power to decide the magnificence our bodies?


This is what I want out of my authentic body experience: to live inside my body, to literally embody myself. I want to feel my bones as my scaffolding, feel how my muscles and joints allow my movement, how my nerves protect me from harm and provide me with pleasure. I want to bask in my senses and celebrate the sheer wonder of being a living, breathing organism.

By definition, my authentic body has ME at its center. Not the me I’ve been taught to be. But the real me. The one I came into the world as. The me that always knows my goodness, my perfection, my freedom. The one that knows my own love for myself. I want to be so free I can allow myself this.

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